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This Day in WWII 13 February 1940 - 1945


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MagazinePublishersofAmericaAd-Feb1943.jp Magazine Publishers of America Ad - February 1943

1940: Russian troops capture forts on Karelia Isthmus.

Jean%20Arthur1.jpg *Jean Arthur

1942: In the early hours of the morning, the Scharnhorst puts into Wilhelmshaven, while the Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen reach Kiel a short while later.

1942: Vidkun Quisling visits Berlin.

1942: The Russians advance in to White Russia, but meet strong German resistance.

Jean%20Arthur2.jpg Jean Arthur

1944: The allies halt the German attack around Cassino. The Italians in Cassino Monastery are warned that it will be bombed.

1944: Another British counter-offensive begins in Arakan, Burma.

Jean%20Arthur3.jpg Jean Arthur

1945: (Feb. 13th - 15th) The RAF launches a heavy attack (over 800 bombers in two separate waves, which is followed the next day by 400 bombers of the US 8th Air Force) against Dresden. The Raids are estimated to have killed in a fire-bombing holocaust, 35,000 to 135,000 people and becomes the most destructive raid of the war in Europe. (WATCH BRITISH NEWSREEL)

WarAdvertisingCouncilAd-Feb1944.jpg War Advertising Council Ad - February 1944

1945: Budapest is reported as fully captured by the Russians. The Red Army captures Schneidemül in Pomerania.

1945: U.S. troops capture the last Japanese naval base and airfield on Luzon.

Jean%20Arthur4.jpg Jean Arthur

*Jean Arthur was born Gladys Georgianna Greene in Plattsburgh, New York on October 17, 1900. A major film star of the 1930s and 1940s, she remains arguably the epitome of the female screwball comedy actress. "No one was more closely identified with the screwball comedy than Jean Arthur. So much was she part of it, so much was her star personality defined by it, that the screwball style itself seems almost unimaginable without her." Arthur has been called "the quintessential comedic leading lady."

Arthur is best known for her feature roles in three Frank Capra films: "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), "You Can't Take It With You" (1938), and "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939), films that championed the everyday heroine.

She continued to star in films such as Howard Hawks' "Only Angels Have Wings" in 1939, with love interest Cary Grant, 1942's "The Talk of the Town", directed by George Stevens (also with Grant), and again for Stevens as a government clerk in 1943's "The More the Merrier", for which Jean Arthur was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress (losing to Jennifer Jones in The Song of Bernadette). As a result of being in the doghouse with studio boss Harry Cohn, her fee for "The Talk of the Town" (1942) was only $50,000 while her male co-stars Grant and Ronald Colman received upwards of $100,000 each. Arthur remained Columbia's top star until the mid-1940s, when she left the studio and Rita Hayworth took over as the studio's reigning queen. Stevens famously called her "one of the greatest comediennes the screen has ever seen", while Capra credited her as "my favorite actress".

Jean%20Arthur5.jpg Jean Arthur

Arthur "retired" when her contract with Columbia Pictures expired in 1944. She reportedly ran through the studio's streets, shouting "I'm free, I'm free!" For the next several years, she turned down virtually all film offers, the two exceptions being Billy Wilder's "A Foreign Affair" (1948), in which she played a congresswoman and rival of Marlene Dietrich, and as a homesteader's wife in the classic Western "Shane" (1953), which turned out to be the biggest box-office hit of her career. The latter was her final film, and the only color film she appeared in. In 1966 she had a brief fling at TV with "The Jean Arthur Show", but it ran for only 11 weeks. She then turned to teaching, at both Vassar College and North Carolina School of the Arts. She retired in 1972.

Arthur's first marriage, to photographer Julian Anker in 1928, was annulled after one day. She married producer Frank Ross, Jr. in 1932. They divorced in 1949. Arthur did not have any children.

Jean Arthur died from heart failure at the age of 90. Her ashes were scattered at sea near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

SchlitzBeerAd-Feb1945.jpg Schlitz Beer Ad - February 1945

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